News Views: Order up

MLA says motel will only operate as supportive housing for 18 months, restaurant could serve tenants.

The provincial government indicated on Monday that the supportive housing project at the motel in Maple Ridge will only be temporary.

Marc Dalton, Liberal MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission, said the Quality Inn, which is not in his riding, will only operate as supportive housing for 18 months, while a permanent location is found and new facility built.

So the provincial government is going to buy the motel for millions of dollars, renovate it for more, then what?

Sell it? It was already for sale.

In the meantime, Maple Ridge will lose one of only two motels in the city.

And what will happen to area businesses?

Dalton suggested The Pantry, adjoined to the motel, could serve food to those staying in supportive housing.

B.C. Housing has yet to consult the public regarding the Quality Inn project, which would provide supportive housing for the 40 or so people at the temporary homeless shelter in downtown Maple Ridge.

B.C. Housing has offered to extend funding for the temporary shelter while renovations to the motel are completed.

But such improvements require rezoning, and Maple Ridge council voted last week to put the project on hold given several conditions, one of which was the support of local MLAs Dalton and Doug Bing, whose riding the Quality Inn is within.

Close to 700 people attended a rally Saturday at the motel, protesting the supportive housing project there.

Neither Bing nor Dalton attended, although the former’s constituency assistant Cheryl Ashlie told the crowd that her boss doesn’t support the location.

So now what? Does the provincial government think petitioners are going to stop their protests?

If the temporary homeless shelter can be extended, could not the supportive housing project?

Will area residents be any less fearful for the safety of their neighbourhood because the project is supposed to now only be temporary?

A lot can happen in a year and a half.

Just ask Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read.

 

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News